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bennylinTuesday 03rd of August 2004 12:41:20 AM
Closer with Indonesia - (with minor editing)

Indonesian is the important country in south east Asia. It lies between Asia and Australia continents. Indonesia are surrounded by two oceans, they are Indonesia Ocean and Pacific Ocean. We can compare to the distance from East Coast to West Coast of the United States of America. You can imagine how big is by comparing it to the distance between London (UK) to Istanbul (Turki).

People call Indonesia archipelago as "Zamrud Katulistiwa". It means "Jade on Equator", because this beautiful archipelago are spread on equator (and because of Indonesian forests). Another nick name for Indonesia is "Paradise Islands".

The name of Indonesia was introduced by British etnologist, G.R. Logan in 1850. In that time he was writing a book about a nation who lived in archipelago. The island produced many spices.

Logan combined two words. They were "India" and "Nesos". In that time, Western people called the area which produce spices as "India", and nesos means archipelago. The combination of those two words has made a name, "Indonesia".

Now the population in Indonesia is more than 200 million. Most of them are Moslem. In Indonesia there are hundreds of tribe. Each of them has different cultures and traditions. They have different languanges with hundrens of dialect. Until now some of those cultures, art and traditional ceremonies stiil exist.

The Indonesian sea area is four times greater than its land area, which is about 1.9 million sq. km. The sea area is about 7.9 million sq. km (including an exclusive economic zone) and constitutes about 81% of the total area of the country. Indonesia has about 17,508 islands. It's a big number but most of them are small island (about 10,000 of them). Approximately 6,000 of these islands (30%) are inhabited and remain nameless (note: some articles says only 6,000 islands is habitated by man), with five main islands and 30 smaller archipelagoes serving as home to the majority of the population. The main islands are Sumatra (473,606, Kalimantan (539,460, Sulawesi (189,216, Irian Jaya (421,981, and Java (132,187

Some experts have divided Indonesia to three main geographic area. They are Sunda Besar (Big Sunda) archipelago, Little Sunda archipelago, Maluku and Irian. Big Sunda archipelago are the main islands. They are Sumatra, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), and Java. Most of Indonesian people live in these islands. Little Sunda archipelago are Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, and Timor. Irian (Papua) and Maluku are big islands. They are surrounded by thousands of little islands. Since the 15-th century, this archipelago was well known by Western people as spices producer.

Indonesia is rich of beautiful animals, like Sumatra's Tiger, Orang Utan from Kalimantan, Tapir from Sulawesi, Cendrawasih bird from Irian, One-horned Rhino from Java, and the most primitive animal, Komodo (Dragon) from Komodo Island (NTT). This pre historical animal still exist just now. Those animals I mention here are endangered animals. People must protect them.

Indonesia's climate is wet tropic. Most of West Indonesian islands are covered with rain forest. The average temperature in Indonesia ia about 26,8 degree Celcius (85 degree Farenheit). Indonesia has two seasons, they are rainy season (November to May) and dry season (June to October).

Indonesian people consist of many ethnic groups and tribes. According the history, most of Indonesian were from from Mongoloid race (from Yunnan, China), especially for West and Central Indonesia. Others, especially the people from East Indonesia, were from Melanesia and Negroid race. There are about 583 languages in Indonesian alone. The biggest is Javanese. Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language) is official and unity language. The language was chosen at Youth Congres in 1928 in Jakarta. Indonesian is from Malay language. It was a very important event in the process of uniting the nation. Indonesian people got their independence on 17th August 1945.

Indonesia is really a beautiful country. All the areas are enjoyable to visit. Some popular tourism destination are :
Bali (the most popular)
Lake Toba (North Sumatera)
Mountain Tangkuban Parahu (West Java)
Kepulauan Seribu (One thousand archipelago in North Jakarta)
Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple (Central Java)
Bunaken Sea Park (North Sulawesi)
Toraja (also in Sulawesi)
and there are still many interesting places

Note: I read in a newspaper that many tourists in Bali didn't even know that Bali is not a country, and they don't know about Indonesia (never heard of it). Strange, isn't it?

you can also look at this link
bennylinWednesday 29th of September 2004 09:40:42 PM
- the article below is taken from
(in case that suddenly the link become 'dead link')

Most people are not aware that Indonesia is a major country of some 220-plus million people. It is the world's 4th. largest populated nation after China's 1.3 billion, India's 950 million, and the U.S.A.'s 265 million. It it is the world's largest – and youngest – populated nation with some 165 million youngsters under the age of 30 where only 8% are over the age of 60 years (national Bureau of statistics, August 2001, quoted in the English-language daily "The Jakarta Post", August 2001).

It is a vast, sprawling geographic area equivalent to an area stretching from the western tip of Europe to the Middle East. It covers a distance from London in England, through western and eastern Europe past Tehran in Iran to the borders of Egypt, which U.S. President Bill Clinton said is a strategic country because, among others, “85% of the world's commercial and world's navies in the Indian and Pacific Oceans from China, Taiwan, Japan to the Middle East and Europe and vice versa pass through Indonesian waters.”

It takes 7 hours to fly from Jakarta to Papua (Irian Jaya) in the east towards the center of Australia, (2 hours from Jakarta to the west to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, or 1 hour 45 minutes to Singapore both in the middle of Sumatra),and 4 hours from Jakarta to the west to the town of Sabang at the western tip of Sumatara as hundreds of thousands of domestic and international travellers will confirm. Think of sitting in a Boeing 747 jet for 10 hours continuous flight, that's equivalent to flying through Indonesia's vast territories.

The area is so huge, that most Indonesians themselves do not know and are not aware of the many events.. both the good and bad ones.. that happen in the other parts of the country. To both nationals and international travellers, the publicity given by some governments that travel in Indonesia should not be included because of certain events, are ridiculous as these international visitors experienced themselves. It is like saying do not travel to the U.S.A. because there are riots in Los Angeles. New Yorkers probably are not even aware that riots did take place in L.A. if not for instantaneous television coverage. It is also just as ridiculous to tell people: Do not travel to France because there are riots in Belgium. Besides, Indonesia's total flying distance is nearly twice the total flying distance of the U.S.A.-- and several times the total area of Western Europe! The international rockstars, like Westlife, the Corrs, the Rollingstone rockstar who married in Bali, international filmstars,international music and jazz festivals (e.g. JakJazz) and the hundreds of international exhibitions, that take place in Indonesia obviously do not believe in foreign government propaganda. Readers of this webpage should not believe in these negative propaganda either. The country is too big – think of the country as the equivalent distance from London to Tehran in Iran – BIG by any standards to be pegged like most other countries.

Jakarta, its capital city, is the size of many small countries.. and just as modern as any of the world's metropolitans with many intelligent skyscrappers (regulating lighting, air conditioning etc. without any manual intervention, e.g. BNI, G.E. [General Electric] Building, etc.) and S.E. Asia's largest shopping complexes (Mangga Dua, Anggrek Mall & some 80 other malls). It is, according to the United Nation's population statistics, one of the world's five largest cities , after Mexicocity's 35 million, Shanghai and other Chinese metropolitans.
(NB: check at

At night, according to the Jakarta DKI City government surveys in 1997 and 2000, its population is 12 million; during the day it grows to 19 to 20 million people who travel to the city from the dozens of outlying satellite towns and leave, clogging Jakarta's internal city toll roads from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. at night. It takes some 60 minutes to circle through Jakarta's circular internal toll road on concrete stilts over buildings, factories, and populated areas at a constant speed of 85-90 km (50-55 miles) an hour to arrive at the same point (visualize travelling through Hong Kong's populated areas, or London's Oxford Street and Hampstead Heath encircled by a toll road on conrete stilts). It's not like travelling through London's or Washington, D.C.'s circular roads where most of it consist of wooded and scaterred homes. Jakarta is now taking bids for the "second 'outer' ring road" covering its suburbs and satellite towns, somewhat like London's and Washingto DC's ring roads.

Indonesia's Rupiah (rupee-aah) currency is where the dollar goes a long, long way, said movie star Brooke Shields recounting the story when she with her tennis champion husband, Agassi, played with the monkeys in Bali to U.S. television funny man, Jay Leno in September, 2001.

chocolate, rubber, tobacco, pepper, and other spices came from this area over 2000 years ago

Indonesians have always kept a very low profile about their country (a characteristic of the Javanese, descendants of the million year old "Java Man" - Meganthropus Javanensis, one of man's oldest species, who dominate the nation), while countries 1/10 to 1/20th. the size get more recognition because of better and sustained self-promotion. Some facts:

Indonesia is a huge country geographically and population wise

* Indonesia is the World's 4th. largest populated country after China, India & the U.S.A. in population terms - 220 million people according to the official 1997 census (but estimated to be 250-plus million in 2000, the population size of the U.S.A. when 16 years and under without I.D. cards are included). Aside from the world’s largest nation, it has a large Geographical Area to match.

* It has a geographic area of 5,600 kilometers in width, 3 time zones (it should have 4 time zones because Singapore and Malaysia which are in the middle of Sumatra are 1 hour ahead of Jakarta), or in real practical terms for the jet liner traveler a flight lasting 10 hours from east to west (versus 5½ crossing continental U.S.), an area straddling London in England, all the way to France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Yugoslavia, Turkey to Tehran, Iran, to the borders of Egypt, the geographical distance which is Indonesia.

* It is a strategically important country because 85% of the world's east-west commercial shipping and the world's navies pass through Indonesian waters (Bill Clinton, U.S. President, 2000). (Left photo Bale Kambang Beach, east Java, courtesy of Singgih W.)

* It is the World's Largest 17,508-Island Tropical Paradise—with the world's longest 85,000 km coastline. The weather and temperature remain constant all year round from 19 to 32 degrees Celsius (66 to 89 Fahrenheit) and a humidity factor ranging between 40% to 91% depending on the area.

* It has 582 different ethnic languages and nearly as many different cultures unified by one language “Bahasa Indonesia” (spoken as the official national language by the folks in Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam & Singapore). Bahasa Melayu, a deravative of Bahasa Indonesia, is an Englisified version of Bahasa Indonesia, that is, its gramatical structure and way of expression uses the English language gramatical structure but expressed using the Malay tongue. Whatever it may be, Bahasa Indonesia is spoken by more than 220 million people compared to 1/10th. who speak the Malay language.

* It is One of the Founders of A.S.E.A.N. (Association of South-East Asian Nations), an area that was one of the fastest growing areas in the world.

* BALI (the Island of the gods) • KALIMANTAN • SULAWESI • IRIAN JAYA • SUMATRA • JAVA (the coffee-growing area where the Java Computer language got its name) several well known areas which make up Indonesia. (Right photo, Pura Bedugul, a Balinese temple).

* 25 Years Sustained Economic Growth, and an average 6 to 8.2% growth annually between 1990-97, which provides for confidence to achieve the same performance in the near future, although Indonesia is right now in 1997-99 facing an economic crisis.

* The “Big 5”–China, India, Indonesia, Brazil & Russia–represent more than 50% of the world population and will represent the “world's largest producers", and key players in the World Economy, according to a leading global infrastructure international publication.

* It is the world's largest youngest populated nation. It has a 75% Youthful Population–some 165 MILLION YOUNGSTERS–under the age of 30, according to the National Statistics Bureau in August 2001, people at its most productive years open to the good things in life, new products, new tastes and a new life style. Indonesian television programs, domestic and foreign computer and fashion publications (like Bazaar, Cosmopolitan), ways of speaking and expressing themselves, advertisements, all reflect this youthful population.

* A Huge official Market of 220-MILLION plus people, equaling the combined markets of England, France & Germany.

* Ready To take-Off and move as soon as the different infrastructures – power, roads & telecommunications – are in place, and as soon as it recovers from economic & political problems suffered throughout Asia, Eastern Europe and expected global recession of 1999-2000.

* Jakarta, the capital is as Modern as any of the World's Metropolitans and as large – reputedly one of the world's 5 largest cities. Jakarta's population is 18-20 Million during the day – the size of many small countries – and 12 million at night according to published reports by city officials who monitor suburbanite travel, and as Traditional & Cultured As You'd Want It To Be going back more than a thousand years like the Borobudur Temple in Jogjakarta.

* A Historical First & Only Recipient of a 1996 United Nations Award for the Eradication of Poverty to a Government (which the 1997-2001 monetary crisis threw out the window)

Indonesia like any large country is not perfect
Indonesia, like any huge country, is not perfect—it's more difficult to govern than most because of its vast geographical area separated by oceans and the diversity of its cultures, religions, languages and ways of doing things—and is recovering from S.E. Asian monetary woes.

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